Since I was three years old, I had believed that I would become a lawyer. I made sure everyone knew too. My family, relatives, teachers, classmates, friends, and pretty much everyone who knew me were aware of my most important dream in life. I chose a college degree that I felt was the best choice for the specific type of law I wanted to specialize in, and even took up a minor that would supplement this. Every choice I had made then was leading up to this potential future that, with all the certainty in the world, I knew I would achieve. Life isn’t always so cut and dry though, and apparently the universe had other plans for me.
I joined an advertising organization in my freshman year even if it had nothing to do with my chosen career because I figured I could use that opportunity as a chance to indulge my passion for organizing events. It was little more than a side hobby really, and like most students just starting out at university, I gravitated towards any opportunity that could pad my resume. It never occurred to me that joining that organization would trigger one of the most pivotal choices I would make in my young life. I was 19, an officer for that org in my 2nd year, and I had just begun my philosophy minor when doubt started creeping up on me. I was doing really well in my org, getting recognized and affecting change, but more than anything else, I fell in love with the work no matter how exhausting it could be at times. I remember I was climbing up the stairs to our org room when my heart suddenly sank because I realized, ‘I don’t think I want to be a lawyer anymore.’ Sometimes, I still wonder if I would have made the same choice then knowing where I would be now.
It was the first time in my life that I felt so utterly lost and confused. Was I really about to give up the future that I had wanted more than anything in the world, and that my parents had worked so tirelessly to help me reach? After months of tormented introspection, and ugly-crying in front of my closest friends, I started to accept that maybe a career in law isn’t really for me. It took me another year to break the news to my parents, and well, it took some time, but they’ve gotten used to the idea that I wouldn’t on’t be following my dad’s footsteps in the way that everyone expected I would.
Since I made that decision, I have changed my prospective career about three times now. Even if I now know for sure what I want to do with my life, a significant part of me still feels incredibly lost and plagued with doubt. However, I am slowly starting to realize that all of this is just part of getting old and growing up—having the maturity and wisdom to know and accept that nothing in life will ever be a hundred percent certain, and being ok with that fact. You can plan for every minute of every day, but the universe will always throw you curve balls whether by chance or by choice. We can live in paralyzing fear of the unknown, or we can choose to revel in the uncertainty, something I admittedly am still working on. We can never fully control everything that will ever happen to us, but I believe that’s what makes life more interesting.